Las Perlas, Panama - Isla San Cristobal, Galaagos, Equador 24 August - 3 September
Morning watch, 25th of August and we are on our way to Galapagos!!!
Yesterday at 12 we set sails from Isla Pedro Gonzalez, Las Perlas, still Panama, at noon. In the bay next to us was Niklas and Anders on Hafsorkestern, also ready to leave. Just after starting the engine we were surrounded by a number of impressive humback whales. Fantastic to see these beautiful animals, playing, making love and having fun and enjoing life. What a great experience.
It feels very good to be on our way for new adventures!
Strange winds, no wind, wrong direction, swell, heavy rain ..... we are a bit worried, it’s a long way to go! Is it going to be like this all the way? (Must be the ITCT Zone)
Before midnight we run into a heavy thunderstorm. Very very scaring. On our radar we can follow the way of the thunderstorm. We are just directly heading for it. Fred changes the course in order to stay out of the worst of it. A big detour by motor. It’s like a big jelly fish with long arms holding Sans Peur tight in its grip. It is like daylight because of all the lightning and we just cross our fingers that we will not be hit. After four scary hours fighting the thunderstorm we finelly feel safe again.
Today we had VHF contact with Hafsorkestern, they were ok but all their instruments are caput due to the indirect compact of a thunder lightning.
This day has been quite strange, engine on, engine off, sails in, sails out, no wind, a little wind, change course .....
Thank god we have Mr Perkins and a lot of diesel.
Just now it’s 01.45, Mr Perkins is running but it seems that the wind have changed a little which means with a small adjustment in course we mabye will be able so sail some hours.
Now we have been on our way for three days. The wind and waves are not nice to us:-(
Day five. We are tired!!!! (usely day three and five are not good days when sailing a long distance). But everything is working well onboard with just the two of us.
We have three hours night watches, 20 - 23, 23 - 02, 02 - 05, 05 - 08.
So far it’s been working well!
We planed to do some different activities during the days, like yoga and exercise on deck, some small repairs on the sprayhood etc, but so far we just try to consentrate on holding on when moving around the boat.
Winds and waves are rough. The wind are exact in the wrong direction. We are going south but not in a pleasent way, Sans Peur is jumping up and down and is healing heavely against the winds and waves.
Today, Tuesday at noon we have done 500 NM in 96 hours (4 x 24), means 5,1 knots in average.
600 NM more to go!! We cross our fingers for better winds when we are closer to the Equator.
And today in the afternoon we suddenly have sunshine and blue sky for the first time. Hopefully that is a good sign, the sea is also suddenly blue and a bit calmer, it feels SO much better.
Time for a Sundowner, a well deserved GT in cockpit!!!
NO FISH!! But a small visitor in our galley .... a tired little bird tried to hide there.
We managed to get him out .... but then it tried to fly back in again!? Welcome to stay on deck but not inside the boat.
This night we did’nt turn on our runninglights and we turned of the AIS.
Aparently there are pirates outside the border between Columbia and Ecuador, we saw two boats but they where both big commercial boats.
On port side, not far away, is the mainland of Ecuador. Feels a bit wrong.... but acording to this:
Sailing Aadvisory Panama to Galapagos:
”Leaving Panama, north of the ITCT (Intertropical Convergence Zone, an area of disturbed unsettled weather) you should avoyd this area if possible in order to save diezel. Go south an pass by the island Malpelo (Colombia). Close to Equator you will catch the Southeast Trade Winds.
Then hold westerly course directly to Galapagos.” (A short version!)
That has been our plan after leaving Hafsorkestern and this ITCZ and soon we change course and hope to catch the SE Trade Winds. 60 NM left to Equator.
Today, Wednesday we think we are half way. We calculated around 1000 NM before we left, because the stranges weather and wind patterns, it will be more than 1200 NM.
So far we have been running the engine 31 hours. Our ”budget” is max 100 hours, so far so good.
It is Thursday and day seven. Our position is 00.18.91 N following the Equator. The weather is as usual grey and quite big waves. We have still not ”catched” the SE Trade Winds that we have been so looking forward to, but we are doing quite well anyway, 5 - 7,5 knots.
We have been attacked by flying fish, they fly so high that they even hit the cutter and the yankee!
In the morning we had 20 dead flying fish on deck, poor guys!
Where have all MaiMais, Tunas, Whahoos, Baracudas gone??
What have happend? There must be someting wrong with our lures.
Today on the 31th August we will cross the Equator. Still no trade winds. Still grey sky and nasty sea uncomfortly sea.
At 17.30 we cross the equator!! We felt the little ”bump” and luckely the keel was up!!!
We celebrated with bubble wine and a very nice dinner, file of beef with garlic/cheese potatoes.
Nice swedish and danish music and some dancing in the galley!
After some (again) calculations we are almost sure we will arrive at Isla San Chrostobal, Monday morning as planned.
It is now September Friday 1/ Saturday 2
The weather has defenitly changed, chilly winds. Today we put on fleece jackets??? When did that happen last time?
Rainy night to Sunday but in the morning we finally have a bit of sun again.
It has been a beautiful sunny Sunday!!
Just after dinner we looked out....what a beautiful sky.
So many stars.... and such a bright sky towards Galapagos!
Today Monday 3th of September, 08.10 (local time) we arrive at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Wreck Bay), Isla san Cristobal, Galapagos!!!!
We drop the anchor in the habour and call our agent bureau Yachtgala on VHF 07 but no answer.
Happy to be here after 10 days sailing on the big blue! The weather is like Scandinavien summer which means a rain jacket and un umbrella is very good to carry with you.
Some sea lions come close up greeting us, they look and sound so nice but the smell..........!!
Suddenly one of the taxiboats come close and as far as we understand, he is asking of the name of our agent. We tell him and he says all good and then he’s off.
After app one hour a new taxiboat are heading our direction. And here they are, the officials!!!!
Five officials, one diver and Canela from our agentcy.
All are very polite and efficent, lots of papers to sign for Mr Capitain. They are looking around everywhere, checking galley but actually just at the surface.
Everything is ok!
The only thing was some stranges kind of ”worms” on the hull?? The diver vanted Fred to join her in the water so he could relise some of these worms and put them in a plastic bag. She took the bag with her for control but we are allowed to stay. Where did the worms join us?? In Las Perlas there was absolutely nothing on the hull?
In an hour all the paperworks and checks was done! Yes!
Soon we will take a taxiboat, 1USD pp, to the little town (you are not allowed to use your dinghy).
Hafsorkestern with Niklas and Anders onboard is not yet here.
All in all:
Most of the time we were sailing.
1262 NM, 213 hours, 5,9 knots in average, 42 motoring hours.
Sans Peur is a STAR! We can go everywhere with her. She never let us down!